Mets 3, Braves 1, Top 4 (ppd.)
Welp, just as things started to get interesting, the weather pulled the plug. As the Mets celebrated their fourth inning rally, the skies over suburban Atlanta opened up at 8:45 p.m., and by 11, it was official: the team would head home and battle the Braves another day.
Be it the never-say-die club that limped into the Wild Card Game last year against San Francisco, or the precocious overachievers who faced Kansas City in the 2015 World Series, this incarnation of the Mets saves its best for when the chips are down, odds are stacked against them, whatever cliche you like: when they are supposed to be at their worst, they are at their best. So as they wrap up an intradivisional road trip going a very respectable 4-2 against Washington and Atlanta, having just lost Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard for who knows how long, Mets fans can’t help but respect the greatness that has, once again emerged through adversity. Terry’s never-say-die kids have gritted through a tough week once again.
It’s dramatic, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s edge-of-your-seat stuff. The Mets really are the feel-good underdog movie of Major League Baseball — albeit with an ownership regime that knowingly or unknowingly colluded with a Wall Street fraudster who defaulted actual underdogs of their life savings.
In a soaking three innings, Zack Wheeler — a folk hero for merely answering the bell in May — was effectively wild, using a lot of pitches to hold the Braves to just one run, which scored on back-to-back doubles in the bottom third as Wheeler faced Braves hitters a second time. Brandon Phillips crushed a ball to dead center over Juan Lagares’ head, and he was chased home when Freddie Freeman crushed another ball to straightaway center field, this time, the ball nicking off Lagares’ outstretched glove.
The Mets’ first run came in typical two-steps-forward, one-step back fashion, as Wilmer Flores (not in a hospital! Playing second base!) scampered home while Jose Reyes hit into a double play. But in the top of the fourth, the Mets’ biggest feel-good story of the season, Jay Bruce, destroyed a two-run home run. While the last few at bats against Wheeler hinted he was heading for the ropes, Atlanta veteran Jamie Garcia was racing him there; that’s where things stood: the Mets having just taken a lead, Reyes in a 1-2 count with two out in the top of the fourth, when the tarp rolled out onto the field. We’ll find out what happens next once MLB schedules the rematch.
Photo credit: Brett Davis – USA Today Sports